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07/11/2017

Top-up health insurance: a difficult but necessary choice for companies

Access the article from Le Parisien on top-up health insurance with Verlingue Personal insurance Executive Director Jean-Marc Esvant.

 

REGULATIONS – Since January 2016, companies are obliged to propose medical expenses cover to their employees. Here are some tips on how to choose and adapt.

 

Satisfying employees, while managing the budget and respecting the law, is a challenge facing companies in terms of healthcare cover.

Stemming from the 2013 ANI national inter-professional agreement, the generalisation of top-up health insurance obliges companies since January 2016 to propose medical expenses cover to all employees. Cover must be at least 50% financed by the company and include minimum guarantees defined by the law.

 

Since 2015, top-up health insurance contracts are considered “responsible” if they also respect reimbursement ceiling limits. In exchange, the gain advantages: the employer is exonerated from social charges on premiums and employees can deduct their premiums paid from their taxable revenues. However, the president of the national independent mutual funds federation Philippe Mixe regrets that “this scheme has limited the mutual funds’ capacity to propose and develop original solutions themselves”.

 

The majority of companies currently comply with their obligations. Many go a step further, even though a lot of companies view this reform as a constraint. Regarding employees, Verlingue Personal insurance Executive Director Jean-Marc Esvant highlights that “in some cases a significant rise in the share to be paid by employees has been observed”.

 

NO UNWARRANTED RISE IN TARIFFS

 

There is one positive element however: almost two years after the reform was implemented, specialists have not observed any rise in tariffs. The highly-attractive offers proposed by certain players in the market may nonetheless have led to fears of a readjustment. Vincent Harel, Director of healthcare and life assurance at Mercer, a mutual fund targeting smaller companies, points out that “it is still too early for that. On the other hand, problems in terms of quality of service can sometimes be observed”.

 

It may therefore be useful to adapt contracts and above all select carefully at the outset. On-line comparison services and brokers may help company managers decide. An initial analysis of the specific needs of employees is advised. Geographical location must also be taken into account: healthcare does not have the same costs everywhere. Opting for a contract enabling employees to subscribe to supplementary options may also allow them to personalise their health cover.

 

Above and beyond the price, certain other criteria such as the existence of a healthcare network, local agencies and a dedicated contact person for the company, may also make a difference. Whether subscribing to an initial contract or switching to a new one, companies must always respect strict formalities and preserve all documents.

 

By Le Parisien